Great, Now We All Have to be Fabulous: On Gay Marriage and the End of the World

us_gay1Today the United States Supreme Court ruled that states can’t outlaw homosexual marriage. It’s a move that really doesn’t surprise anyone and of course will leave liberal activists saying, “It’s about time” and conservative activists decrying the decision as “tyranny from the bench.” Of course, the world has yet to end, it still turns, day turns into night, we all have jobs to go to, and life goes on.

Of course, reading mostly Christian websites, one would be left with the impression that the government has changed the entire definition of marriage and that the end of the world as we know it is upon us. We’re met with overreaction after overreaction, hyperbolic statements, and hypotheticals that will probably occur at some point in the future (decades, if not centuries, down the road), but not tomorrow. If – as Christians believe – marriage is established by God then marriage was never within the State’s domain. Technically, especially from a sacramental view of marriage, all marriage licenses have been an attempt by the government to reinterpret marriage and all have been equally invalid; under a sacramental view of marriage, only marriages within the Church (or later consecrated by the Church) are truly legitimate. What the State defines as marriage is by nature separate from what the Church defines as marriage (unless we’ve been in a theocracy all these years and I didn’t know it).

Think about it: how does this modern ruling impact the “sanctity of marriage?” The sanctity of marriage was gone long before the movement came about for homosexual marriage. When the American divorce rate is still high (especially for late Baby Boomers/Generation X’ers, and showing no signs of abating for late Generation X’ers/early Millenials), how can we say we hold marriage sacred? When the average American family will spend more time apart due to careers and daycare than they will together and such an economic system is rabidly defended by the same people who decry homosexual marriage, exactly what’s so sacred about marriage? Even on a more base level, for those who have done away with the sacraments, how can marriage be sacred? If there is no sacrament to marriage then it’s impossible for marriage to be sacred. In other words, we did away with the sanctity of marriage long ago, long before there was a movement for gay rights.

That isn’t to say there aren’t some reasons to worry. After all, it’s not impossible to imagine a scenario in which a church is sued because they won’t officiate a homosexual wedding or refuse to rent out their property for a homosexual wedding. If a baker is sued for refusal then what arbitrary line do we place between the baker and the church; regardless of one’s personal beliefs, both engage in a commercial endeavor. Why, then, should the baker be forced to participate but not the church? This is one argument that I foresee coming to the forefront of the next part of the debate. More than likely, people will idiotically attempt to remove the tax-exempt status from churches, forgetting that they exist based on donations anyway and would qualify as tax-exempt regardless of their religious nature (and to ban their tax-exempt status simply because they have a religious affiliation would be a gross violation of the First Amendment).

Yet, even if such a world came to be – and such a world will probably come to be within a few decades to a few centuries – Christians have only themselves to blame. Unlike persecution in the Middle East, where Christians suffer merely for existing, anything that would bear the semblance of persecution within the US was brought about by the hands of Christians. Rather than through prayer, love, and spreading the Gospel, we attempted to ban homosexual unions using the tools of the State. We tried to protect that which is sacred by utilizing that which is secular, which isn’t necessarily wrong (such as using the State to protect the sacred nature of life), but when it becomes the primary tool it becomes wrong. After all, “We war not against flesh and blood, but against principalities.” But for the past three decades the Religious Right has warred against everything, declaring war on people, using the government as a weapon, and such a tactic has consistently backfired.

Had Christians, early on in this debate, recognized that marriage doesn’t belong to the State to begin with and rather utilized civil unions, one must ask if today would have ever occurred. If the State dealt exclusively with civil unions and removed itself from the marriage game, then what would have changed? Rather, Christians attempted to enforce their view of marriage – a view that isn’t even solidified within the Christian community (as Orthodox, Catholics, and other sacramental elements differ on the nature of marriage than say, Baptists, Pentecostals, and so on) – upon a secular institution. They then used the natural to defend the supernatural. But as is the case, always, the natural ate up the sacred.

The world did not end today, nor will it end because of homosexual marriages. Perhaps, and one can only hope, Christians will realize they have to begin acting like Christians. Rather than ostracizing and creating political outcasts, or attempting to legislate the Gospel into existence, they will see the importance of living it. Maybe they’ll finally abandon the Religious Right, dying an undignified and very deserving death in the Republican primary (where all typical Religious Right candidates trail behind Jeb Bush and Donald Trump…welcome to America!). Then again, they probably won’t, but hey, I can dream, right?

11 thoughts on “Great, Now We All Have to be Fabulous: On Gay Marriage and the End of the World

  1. I really appreciate your response to the situation. I agree that we should have, and still should, abandon the religious right’s merely legal approach. As well, you explained the situation beautifully in regards to our hypocritical attitude toward the “sanctity of marriage” However, I don’t think I agree with your understanding of the separation of Church and State, particularly in regards to “civil union’s”. Although the scope of the civil law is more narrow, and is irrelevant in regards to maintaining the sacramental nature of Matrimony. Don’t we have an obligation to oppose civil investment into homosexual unions for the sake of the common good? Again, I don’t disagree with your main premise, just trying to clarify.

    1. I’d say yes, except that we’ve become so lax in other areas. In attempting to stop homosexual unions, we’d simply create an arbitrary line in the sand. Civil unions, and civil artiste, exist mostly due to property rights. There’s little beyond it.

      So while the Church should make a stand, it ought to seek consistency in its stand. For instance, why do we not fight against an economic system that forces two parents to work 40 hours a week to live comfortably? Does not such a system encourage the devaluing of marriage and family more than homosexuality?

      So while we could stand against it, at this point such a stand would be wildly inconsistent and cause more harm than good.

      1. Does the system force two parents to work 40 hours per week? I cannot say that it does. People make choices and choices have consequences. If you choose a stupid college degree and rack up 6 figures in student loans, is that the system’s fault? If you rack up $40K in credit card debt, is that the system’s fault? People make bad financial decisions daily and that leads them to bad financial situations. Having two parents that work 40 hours per week is a choice. A great number of families, including mine, make it work. Sometimes we just have to sacrifice (but is it really sacrificing?) our personal desires, like owning a mcmansion or driving a luxury car, to actually put our family first. After all, wasn’t Christ against materialism and all for sacrificial giving?

      2. AAron your comment shows a lack of knowledge about our current reality. I have seen many people that have to work two jobs to ensure that their family have the basic necessities. The reality is that there ain’t too many jobs that would allow just one family member to work to cover the expenses of basic necessities. So the myth of proper choices is developed by those that that refuse to accept that God blessed them with better circumstances than their neighbor, they are too prideful and stingy to accept that there is indeed a problem, to put it bluntly it blames the victim for suffering pain instead of seeing that there are those that are takeing more than they need.

  2. Ok Joel, you are right on point with this one. I woke up thinking, “how do we respond?” and you nailed it. Well done.

  3. Reblogged this on Living the Daring Way and commented:
    “The world did not end today, nor will it end because of homosexual marriages. Perhaps, and one can only hope, Christians will realize they have to begin acting like Christians. Rather than ostracizing and creating political outcasts, or attempting to legislate the Gospel into existence, they will see the importance of living it.”

  4. It’s obvious from the Bible that God never considered homosexuality “okay” so there’s no legitimate reason to think that He would ever change His mind. However, many say that He has and that homosexuality must be “okay” because they were “born” that way. However, scientists from Germany have now discovered that psychopaths are born with something in their brain that gives them a predisposition to murder. Since psychopaths were “born that way”, is it okay for them to kill? In the same way, are kleptomaniacs innocent because they were born with a predisposition to steal? No, they have to resist like everyone else. We are all born with a predisposition to sin, in some way, but we resist because it’s the right thing to do and “Heaven” is the reward for obeying God. If a person sins, they should repent, not say it wasn’t a sin.

  5. I find it interesting that Jesus mentions “marrying and giving in marriage” when referring to the “coming of the Son of Man”. One could say that He was just pointing out “normal activities” and I would have agreed, in the 1990’s. However, with same-sex marriage becoming such a hot topic, I’m pretty sure that Jesus was prophesying about what we are seeing in the world today. The first, legal, same-sex marriage was performed in Amsterdam in 2001 and it has grown in acceptance ever since. I think Jesus was talking about homosexuals celebrating (eating and drinking) because same-sex marriage had finally been accepted. I think it’s deja-vu, as in Noah’s day, because the same thing is happening today, just before the rapture.

  6. I remember when Ellen was shunned, at first, and later accepted like a hero. There has been a sharp turn-around in a short period of time. Homosexuals like to compare themselves to the civil rights activists of the 1960’s but skin color and sexual preference have no relation. Nevertheless, acceptance is growing exponentially and “same sex marriage” is the ultimate sign of approval. That’s why Jesus referred to “marrying and giving in marriage” when speaking of end times.

  7. Matthew 24:37-39

    37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

    38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

    39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

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